Weekly Mobile Photography Theme #Lights

Weekly Theme #Lights

Last weeks mobile photography theme was #Lights. We received photos ranging from artificial lights and fireworks to lighting in landscapes. This week, there were four images closely favoured by our community. It seemed unfair to separate them. Therefore, for the first time I am featuring four #PeoplesChoice winners!

Each week the Better Mobile Photos Community Facebook group hosts a weekly photography theme inviting members to share mobile phone photos, techniques, tips, favourite apps and editing techniques. It is a fun, supportive and social community, specifically for Android and iPhone photographers of all levels.

The winners (#PeoplesChoice) are determined by the number of likes and comments received from the group. Below, you will see last weeks winning entries together with some other amazing contributions.

Click/tap on the photos to be directed to the corresponding Instagram accounts.

Image by - Carole Walker
Image by - Marcia Clark
Image by - Marcia Clark

There were thousands of people in Geelong, watching the amazing News Years fireworks at the waterfront alongside the floating Christmas tree. These photographs captured by Carole and Marcia would be the envy of hundreds attempting to capture the lights and colours on their phones. I was at that same location and witnessed many flashlights from Smartphones and point and shoot cameras. Yes, people still have point and shoot cameras!

Carole and Marcia achieved these results by taking some control of their phone camera and did not simply tap on the capture button and hoped to get an awesome image.

Most Smartphone photos of fireworks will be a bright mess, low resolution or blurry. This is caused by not tapping the screen first and simply tapping the capture button, zooming in and not holding the phone steady. We have all seen people holding their phone out away from their body – looking like they are about to launch off a diving board. The idea is to tuck your elbows in by your side and simply be conscious of keeping steady. No need to tap the capture button as your breathe out or slow your heart rate down!

Carole and Marcia have tapped the screen first to tell their phone camera to adjust the focus and lighting on that specific location in the scene. This takes all the guess work out of it for the camera. The mobile phone now knows where to focus and where to specifically balance the light and colour (instead of all that surrounding black sky).

In editing – it appears that both Carole and Marcia have darkened the shadows further to make the fireworks appear more sharp and colourful. Awesome photos.

Image by - Jan Marie

This is a new style of photo for Jan. I like it - a lot! The photo is a simple minimalist photo of light and shapes. The gradient from black to brown also adds to the interest in this photo. I found myself captivated by this image trying to identify, firstly the subject, were they individual light sources, were the dots random and was there a pattern? There seems to be some common shapes, however, there is no apparent order to the chaos of light.

The mystery of all these questions make this a great photo – we are drawn into it initially because it is pleasing to the eye – then we focus deeper trying to unlock the mystery.

Are you ready for the answer? It is light filtering through a metal screen.

Image by - Shannon Taylor

Shannon’s photo is simply headlights lighting the road during the last light of the day. Shannon indicated that there was no editing to this image. Isn’t it amazing how far our phone cameras have come. The road marking is nicely lit - grabbing our attention. Our eyes then follow these markings as leading lines to the centre of the image, where we find the lovely colours of the setting sun.

The colour cast from the headlight on the white lines matches the tone of the setting sun. This is pretty cool as bright white lines would not have anywhere near the same impact in this photo. The sweeping cloud from left to right is also aesthetically pleasing and creates a stillness and peaceful mood that we associate with early evenings.

This photo has a little noise in the sky, however it is hardly noticeable due to modern noise reduction software in our mobile phone cameras. This selectively smooths out the blotchy, pixilation and random specks of colour (noise) that we typically see in low light photos. There are some apps that reduce it further – Photoshop Express and Noiseware (iOS) are my favourites.

Other highlights from last week:

Image by - Dave Libbey
Image by - Jan Marie
Image by - Mike James
Image by - Karen Vanderpol
Image by - Marcello Barbusci
Image by Mike James

Join our Facebook Community here and get involved. We would love to see your phone photos and help you become more confident capturing your special moments, experiences and communicate your story.

Remember: Be passionate, be creative and keep learning.

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